Channel 4 wants to end BBC’s 40-year London Marathon with broadcaster keen to break IP race

Channel 4 wants to end the 40-year run of the BBC’s London Marathon with a broadcaster keen to add the iconic race to its expanding coverage… after securing the Test of England series in India and winning ‘Emma Raducanu at the US Open

  • Channel 4 is looking to add the London Marathon to its growing sports coverage
  • sports mail has been informed that Channel 4 has submitted the most convincing bid
  • The iconic Marathon has been televised by the BBC since its debut in 1981











Channel 4 wants to end BBC television’s 40-year-old coverage of the London Marathon with the terrestrial broadcaster keen to add the iconic race to its growing sports coverage.

sports mail has been told Channel 4 has submitted the most compelling bid for a multi-year deal which would start with this year’s race on October 2, although London Marathon sources insist a final decision has yet to be made. not yet taken.

The Marathon has been televised by the BBC since the event was first held in 1981, with wide coverage expanding to include radio and online channels in recent years, so losing the rights to a major national event would be a blow. hard.

Channel 4 wants to end the BBC’s 40-year-old coverage of the London Marathon (above)

They submitted the most compelling offer for a multi-year deal that would start this year

They submitted the most compelling offer for a multi-year deal that would start this year

However, the broadcaster let its previous four-year contract expire last year without negotiating an extension, allowing Channel 4 to submit a counter-offer.

Channel 4 has become a major player over the past year as more sports rights have been sold to terrestrial stations.

In a surprise move, they outbid Sky Sports for live coverage of England’s Test series in India last winter, and have since secured Emma Raducanu’s US Open final victory in September, regular Super League matches and Chelsea’s Club World Cup victory.

Channel 4 also provided coverage of Emma Raducanu's US Open final triumph in September

Channel 4 also provided coverage of Emma Raducanu’s US Open final triumph in September

Raducanu’s coup was a particular triumph, as the BBC expected to win the live rights.

Their failure to do so led to the termination of their strengths contract. The BBC could yet return with an improved offer, although it has appeared reluctant to commit resources to buying athletics rights in recent years.

Negotiations with World Athletics and UK Athletics lasted until the 11th hour before the BBC finally agreed to extend his contract to cover the Diamond League and major domestic fixtures.

The marathon has been pushed back from its usual April to October slot for the third consecutive year to give participants a better chance of taking part as Covid restrictions ease.

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